By Mumbere Peter
Hundreds of protesters who marched in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Sunday were dispersed by security forces with tear gas and stun grenades, as they attempted to reach the presidential palace.
Tear gas was fired towards crowds of men and women who chanted “Freedom” and “Peace”
Witnesses said security forces blocked Khartoum University professors and lecturers from coming out to join the protest, arresting at least eight.
The rest were forced to return into the faculty club house, where security forces surrounded the building trapping about 100 professors and lecturers inside for nearly three hours.
Although Sunday’s gathering drew smaller crowds, anti-government protests which began last month have overall posed the most serious challenge to President Omar al-Bashir’s rule.
Intermittent protests have rocked Sudan since anger over food shortages and rising bread prices erupted into demonstrations in the city of Atbara in the north on December 19.
The Sudanese government has said that 19 people were killed in the protests, including at least two members of the security forces.
Amnesty International has put the death toll at 37.